PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of possible armed voter intimidation at a downtown St. Petersburg voting location, the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections said.
According to the Pinellas SOE Julie Marcus, two people suspected of voter intimidation were wearing security uniforms at the downtown St. Petersburg early voting location at 501 First Ave N.
According to Marcus, the pair told a responding law enforcement officer that they are with a private security company. She says a concerned staff member reported at least one of them was armed.
The pair set up a tent and claimed to be working for the Trump campaign, Marcus said.
“These persons claimed or said that they were hired by the Trump campaign, again I’m not going to speculate to that. This was a licensed security company and they were licensed security officers,” Marcus said.
The Deputy National Press Secretary for the Trump campaign issued a statement to ABC Action News denying the campaign hired the pair.
“The Campaign did not hire these individuals nor did the Campaign direct them to go to the voting location.”
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office gathered information and the two individuals left the location due to rainy weather conditions. The pair stated that they’d return on Thursday.
“I and the sheriff take voter intimidation very seriously. Any type of voter intimidation will not be tolerated,” said Marcus. “We’re going to ensure that our voters feel safe going to vote and cast ballots in this election.”
The sheriff will be at the location on Thursday if the incident happens again, Marcus said.
“There are very specific laws to prevent voter intimidation and it will not be tolerated,” Marcus said. “This is unacceptable. I have been here for 17 years and I have never seen this happen before.”